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Michigan Blueberry Producers Approve Continuation Referendum

LANSING, MI - Michigan’s blueberry producers have approved a referendum to continue the Michigan Blueberry Research and Education Program, Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Director Gary McDowell announced today.

Established in February 2017, the Michigan Blueberry Research and Education Program was developed for the purpose of improving the economic position and competitiveness of the state’s blueberry industry. The goal is to keep Michigan’s blueberry industry on the cutting edge of new technology as well as implement new research keeping those farmers economically viable in the world market. The program emphasizes advancements in blueberry research, information delivery, and Michigan industry-wide collaboration. By law, the program must be renewed every five years.

The Michigan Blueberry Research and Education Program will continue for an additional five years beginning May 1, 2022. The current assessment for the fiscal period shall be fixed upon producers at a maximum rate of three tenths of a cent per pound of blueberries sold. 

There were 67 qualified ballots cast in the referendum. Of those, 59 producers voted yes (88 percent) representing 46,130,052 pounds (89 percent) and eight producers voted no (12 percent) representing 5,657,053 pounds (11 percent).

For renewal of the program and its activities, more than 50 percent of the voting producers, representing more than 50 percent of the pounds sold by those voting, must have approved it.